SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - A South Bay hospice patient and lifelong musical theater fan received a very special surprise on Friday that put a huge smile on her face and had her cheering and pumping a fist in the air.
Nancy Greene is a resident of Vista Manor Nursing Center in San Jose. It's no secret there that the 87-year-old has a deep passion for musicals and was a long supporter of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.
"...so she knows and loves musicals," explained April Dovorany, spokeswoman for Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care.
Despite her condition, Greene recently expressed her desire to attend one last play. "...but knew even with comfort medication and assistance, it would be too hard," Dovorany said.
Perhaps hoping to get that musical experience vicariously, Greene encouraged Seasons music therapist Josephine Huynh to attend one of her all time favorite Broadway productions, "Jersey Boys," which was on tour and performing in San Jose.
The request inspired Huynh with an idea. The music therapist took it upon herself to try and bring the show to her patient.
"She did all she could, calling booking agents, tour representatives and even calling the Broadway Booking Office in New York-all with no definite results," Dovorany told KTVU's Frank Somerville.
But since she didn't make any strides, Huynh took her efforts in another direction by purchasing a ticket to a showing of "Jersey Boys." Then after the production, she went straight to the stage door with hopes of meeting a cast member.
"As midnight approached, the lead character in the show, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, came out of the door," Dovorany explained. "She patiently waited to approach him, telling him all about Nancy and her wish to see one more play. Josephine asked if Miguel was willing to come sing for Nancy, and without hesitation he said, 'Yes, I'll do it!'"
And the next day, that's exactly what happened. Jarquin-Moreland, who plays Frankie Vallie in the show, arrived at the center to serenade the huge musical fan.
In a video released by Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, Greene lets out a big, "Yay," and throws a fist in the air when Huynh introduces her to the actor.
Jarquin-Moreland presented Greene with a poster and cast album and stood by her bed and sang to her as Huynh strummed a guitar in accompaniment.
"She was actually feeling depressed about her condition," Huynh said, "and the visit did cheer her up."
Chris Tran, a hospice care consultant with Seasons was in the room during the visit and said he witnessed a clear change come over Greene. "The patient is usually quiet and tired but that day was really alert," Tran noted.
He said Greene even knew the keys to the music and had a rush of memories come back to her.
The gift of music and a kind gesture from a stranger orchestrated by a therapist who went above and beyond for her patient were enough to transport Greene to a different place, evoke happiness and arouse deep rooted memories from her past.
"Nancy had NO idea this was going to happen," Dovorany noted, "and in this video you can see how much joy his visit brought her."